Monday, May 9, 2016

The Haunted Stepsister and Critique Partners

Today I'm over at the IWSG website talking about How to be a Good Critique Partner. I'd love to see you over there. But first, check out Medeia Sharif's exciting new book!

The Haunted Stepsister
by Medeia Sharif

Published by Leap Books, it is released today!!

Sixth grade isn’t easy for Jesenya Moradi, especially since her father’s recent remarriage and tension with her new stepsister, Kammy. After an incident at school that nearly destroyed Kammy's life, Jess has been desperate to get on Kammy’s good side. But a fateful trip to an allegedly haunted bathroom changes both girls’ lives forever.

The rumors about the bathroom are true, and now Jess is convinced a demon's possessing Kammy. Eerie things happen whenever she's around – flying objects, flickering lights, not to mention the fact that something, or someone, is making people into its puppets.

Worse, the demon seems fixated on making Jess confess her part in ruining Kammy's reputation. Sticking to her Muslim faith, Jess enlists the help of an imam to exorcise the demon from Kammy. But can they get rid of the demon before it destroys her new family?

Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Smashwords, Goodreads

Madeia Sharif was born in New York City and she presently calls Miami her home. She received my master’s degree in psychology from Florida Atlantic University. After becoming a voracious reader in high school and a relentless writer dabbling in many genres in college, she found her niche writing for young people. Today she’s a MG and YA writer published through various presses. In addition to being a writer, she is a public school teacher. Her memberships include Mensa, ALAN, and SCBWI.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

On Accepting Failure #IWSG

When I was a wee thing in school, I used to do the least amount of study needed to pass an exam. Passing was my goal, even if it meant passing by half a percent. I had no motivation to do better. Why? It wasn’t because of laziness. It was because of a fear of failure. That might sound strange considering how close I came to failing. The truth was, if I failed an exam or an assignment by not studying, then that didn’t matter, but if I studied hard, or, well, just studied in some cases, and I still failed to reach my goal, then that would’ve been the worst thing in the world. That was failure on a personal level.

Silly me and my teenage self.

Of course when I eventually did wake up and start applying myself, my world opened up. I could do more, be more. Dreams became possible. They became reality.

The thing about failure is that it isn’t a monster and neither is it the end of the world. Sometimes we have to accept failure to move forward. I’d go as far to say that failure is necessary for success. We learn through failing. We grow through failure. Failing makes us stronger and wiser.

In the Christian faith we must first recognise we are sinners and need saving before we can be saved.

People with addictions must first recognise and accept they have an addiction before they can move forward and start dealing with the problem.

Writers must first write a crappy first draft before they can shape it into the published book it’s meant to become.

To make our dreams reality, we have to apply ourselves and we have to work through those endless hurdles, closed doors, nay-sayers, and our own personal fears. Sure there will be some stumbling along the way, but when we persevere, magic happens.

What are the things that hold you back? What gets you through?

Happy announcement: The IWSG Anthology Parallels: Felix Was Here has at last been released!

What if the government tried to create the perfect utopia? Could a society linked to a supercomputer survive on its own? Do our reflections control secret lives on the other side of the mirror? Can one moment split a person’s world forever?

Exploring the fantastic, ten authors offer incredible visions and captivating tales of diverse reality. Featuring the talents of L. G. Keltner, Crystal Collier, Hart Johnson, Cherie Reich, Sandra Cox, Yolanda Renee, Melanie Schulz, Sylvia Ney, Michael Abayomi, and Tamara Narayan.

Hand-picked by a panel of agents and authors, these ten tales will expand your imagination and twist the tropes of science fiction. Step through the portal and enter another dimension!

You can get your copy from these places:
Print: Amazon, Barnes & Noble
Ebook: Amazon, ITunes, Barnes & Noble, Kobo

This post was written for the Insecure Writer's Support Group. We post on the first Wednesday of every month. To join us, or learn more about the group, click HERE.